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Vergne disappointed with Q1 early exit

24 March 2012

Jean-Eric Vergne wasn't hiding his feelings about his early exit from qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit on Saturday.

"Of course I am a bit disappointed with this result," he said straight away, immediately adding that his early elimination from qualifying was down to a error that he himself had made.

"I made a mistake at the first corner, having a massive lock-up on a front wheel," he confirmed. "That created so much vibration that I had to come back to the pits and that was my qualifying over.

"Compared to Melbourne, the car is pretty much the same so the difference in qualifying result between there and here is down to the fact the mid-field is so close," he pointed out. "As I was not able to do a time on the option [tyre], that explains my grid position."

On the plus side, Vergne pointed out that at least his lowly starting position of 18th on the grid gave him some extra flexibility with regard to tyre strategy.

"Looking for something positive, at least it means we have saved one set of new Option tyres for the race," he explained. "There's also a chance of rain for tomorrow so anything could happen, but whatever the conditions, I feel our car can be competitive in race trim."

His Toro Rosso team mate Daniel Ricciardo did squeak through to Q2, but ended up only a few spots ahead of Vergne on the grid in 15th place, leaving the Australian little happier.

"Today's performance was okay, but obviously not as good on paper as last Saturday when I was in Q3," he said. "Looking at the times, it's very close so a tenth of a second might have made a difference of a few positions.

"I think we are more or less where we thought we would be," he admitted. "I am reasonably happy with the lap I did, which was pretty clean and I am not kicking myself thinking I could have done better."

Ricciardo set is target as nosing into the points by the time the chequered flag came out, and was hoping for some assistance from the notoriously temperamental Malaysian weather.

"If it rains, then it's anyone's game and there will be more opportunities, so that could help," Ricciardo agreed.


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